KAMPALA –National Social Security Fund – NSSF partners in the smart card loyalty package are still struggling in registering any significance related to the business, months after its launch.
NSSF partnered with Centenary Bank, launching a three-in-one smart card in July, where the fund’s savers could access merchandise from affiliating merchants at discounted prices.
Information from the fund indicates that since its launch, 8,000 savers out of over 370,000 active accounts have picked interest in the card, technology, and the usage level is 60 per cent of the card holders.
Though the card has been available for up to six months, the merchant companies who are partnering with the fund to move their goods through this program are yet to see any significant impact from it.
Most of these merchants are dealers in real estate and construction materials, and this was a deliberate selection, because the according to NSSF, most members use their benefits in construction projects.
A mini survey indicates that many were optimistic about the program, although not much has been yielded.
Mark Rwomushana from Uganda Clays Limited, said as a company, they were still hopeful that the program would catch up among the savers, only if more awareness about the same was created. He revealed that only six customers had transacted with them, using this card since it was unveiled, yet, according to him, this program was considered as an avenue that could attract a lot of clients.
“The awareness has not been so much, but when it catches up, and many people start using it; we expect many customers,” he said, adding: “Since its launch, we have so far received about six customers, buying goods worth Ugx70m.”
Winnie Nakimuli from Buildnet was cagey in releasing details but confirmed that her company had received a sizeable number of clients through this program.
“We look at this (program) as one of the avenues through, which we shall get customers, and the discount is that part of the profit we could have put into advertisement, which explains why we give the discount,” said Nakimuli.
Worthy to note is that the loyalty card is not access to one’s savings, unless the retirement’s benefits maturity age has been attained. The same card can be used as a debit card for prepaid transactions; it can do online transactions as well as acting as a normal ATM card.
Patrick Ayota – the NSSF deputy managing director said that the fund was working on an improvement where a card holder will only need to swipe at the point of sale machine to carry out a transaction.